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ETSU takes turn at Bristol Motor Speedway as they host Western Carolina

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By COLLIN BROOKS

Staff Writer

[email protected]

It wasn’t his most flattering moment, but East Tennessee State Football coach Carl Torbush said that he will do it again if the Bucs are victorious against Western Carolina.

The second year coach shared some of his dance moves after the Bucs 20-17 double overtime victory against Kennesaw State two Saturdays ago.

“My wife got a big kick out of it, so now I will probably have to take her out dancing sometime,” Torbush said through a smile at the team’s media luncheon on Monday. “But if we win this week, I will dance again.”

If he does, Torbush will be dancing on one of the area’s biggest stages, as the Bucs will play the Catamounts inside of Bristol Motor Speedway. It will also be their first Southern Conference game in 13 years.

Torbush said that the school gaining their first Division I victory since the rebirth of the program last season was a joy to be a part of but will be used as a building block for the rest of the season.


“My wife got a big kick out of it, so now I will probably have to take her out dancing sometime,” Torbush said through a smile at the team’s media luncheon on Monday. “But if we win this week, I will dance again.”

Carl Torbush

ETSU Football Coach


“Beating Kennesaw State has shown our guys that we can win on this level. It also shows how much progress we have made from last year to now,” Torbush said. “We are a lot bigger, faster, stronger and more mature from a year ago.”

HERE IS A LOOK AT COACH TORBUSH’S DANCE

They will need that strength and maturity as they enter the contest against a team that is leading the Southern Conference in offense with 505 yards per contest. The Catamounts have put the ball in the air almost 600 times, and rushed the ball just over 400, but they have capable threats at quarterback and running back.

Dual-threat quarterback in Tyrie Adams, who is averaging 297 yards through the air and 67 yards on the ground. Those numbers and his athletic ability have caught the attention of the ETSU staff.

“What scares me the most is he’s an excellent high jumper in track and field. He’s extremely athletic and very poised,” Torbush said. “He has a lot of weapons that he can get the ball to, and their wide receivers are tall, lean players and they run extremely well.”

Joining Adams in the backfield will be Detrez Newsome. He was voted the preseason player of the year in the Southern Conference and has been backing it up, averaging almost 100 yards in their first two contests.

The Catamounts have three receiving threats in Terryon Robinson (11.8 yards per catch), Spearman Robinson (12.1 ypc) and Jordan Mathis (19.5 ypc). They also have other receivers that have plenty of big play potential.

ETSU will rely on their quarterback Austin Herink who completed 18 of 26 passes for 214 yards during the Buc’s win. He spread the ball around evenly completing passes to eight receivers during the Buccaneers first contest.

His favorite target was Dalton Ponchillia, who hauled in five catches for 72 yards. Ponchilla said that things are a bit different for the Bucs this season as they head into their second contest.

Last year, there were more question marks and uncertainties,” he said. “Now that we have played games and have experienced playing on the FCS level we know what it takes to be a successful team. We have a lot more confidence and a better understanding of running our system.”

The Bucs won’t have time to get caught up in a scoring contest with the Catamounts and will have to adjust quickly to the glitz and the glamour of playing in such a historic venue.

“Obviously, this is a different type of venue, but we have to treat it like another game,” Torbush said. “We will go up there (BMS) and practice on Thursday so our players can get used to that setting. In the end we are playing football and we have to prepare like it’s any other game week.”

Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.